Living in the now.
I am such a romantic. I have a habit of romanticising every inch of my life in my head, and have done since I was young, constantly daydreaming about the future or reminiscing about the past (usually with a Taylor Swift song playing in the background, looking out a car window).
It’s not a terrible habit, life should be romantic, but it takes a lot for me to sit in the present moment and appreciate the now. I am days away from leaving Bali, yet I keep thinking back to New Zealand and living in the van, a lot recently.
Van living was a total dream come true. It’s funny, I constantly find myself in situations that past me would just never believe to be possible… until they are. I still find myself looking at people online who are living in a van and travelling and catch myself feeling jealous. Then I remember that I literally did that! And I can do it again any time I want!
It’s easy to count ourselves out for things or believe that something is too hard, looking at others who are doing something and wishing it could be us. If I – anxiety queen – can live in a van and travel a whole country all while working online Monday – Friday, there is nothing that is impossible.
Don’t get me wrong, there were hard times that came with it and I know I turned into a bit of an anxious mess towards the end. Yet, the moments that flash in my brain are the simple, happy ones. Lior, waking me up with a cup of coffee and us sitting outside listening to the birds while we drink it, a morning swim in the ocean we’d parked by the night before, exploring the most beautiful nature areas of NZ.
I can sometimes dwell on the negatives of a situation, only realising the mountain of positives retrospectively. I am getting a lot better at not sweating the small stuff and reminding myself what future Eilidh will actually remember. I know I was a bit stressed in the last month of van living, but what about? Who cares anymore.
Even when I first asked my boss about working from Bali, I never believed that I would be able to actually do it. That was something that influencers or self-employed people had the luxury of doing – lucky people. Yet, here I am doing just that. And the only reason I’m doing it is that I put it out there and asked. I know I’m going to look back at this time and miss it like crazy. I will miss riding on the back of the moped – like a princess – or playing cards over a coffee at the cute cafe on the beach, or how slow life moves.
When I left Australia, I thought I’d never be able to return. It would be too difficult for me to get back into one of the strictest immigration countries in the world, there would just be no way. I said goodbye, left and let go of Australia – the lazy side of me sometimes can’t be bothered to even think about hard processes sometimes and would rather just pretend things are impossible.
I never believed that I would be good enough at a job for it to value me enough to offer entry to Australia through sponsorship – the only pathway left for me to get back in – always having a habit of underselling myself in most aspects of life. Now here I am, in the midst of applying for a work visa to do just that – move back to Australia with the love of my life (who I can’t believe I get to love) to live by the beach. Dreams do come true.
Sometimes, things fall into your lap like magic. Other times, you have the task of making the things you want in life happen. All it takes is a bit of bravery and belief in yourself and your dream. There are endless opportunities in the world, and they are all probably ten times easier than you are imagining in your head. This is your sign to take one small step towards something that you’re dreaming of.
I am always chasing the next place, looking forward to the future and the next thing I have planned, I can’t stay still. The future arrives and within a few months my feet are itching and I’m looking for the next adventure, chasing something else. Not sure if it’s an addiction to exploration or a fear of stability. But when I do look back, damn, I found myself in some pretty magical situations.
I am ready to be still for a moment. It’s been close to a year since I’ve had a place to call home, from travelling in the van for eight months in New Zealand to switching hotels every week or two in Bali. I know, not much to complain about there (and I’m not really) but I’ve just booked my flight home for Christmas and after four long years away I feel like I’m just passing time until I land in Glasgow.
I keep reminding myself to treasure the moments I have here because I’ll be back in the cold before I know it, but there is such a thing as travelling tired (at least I have just decided there is) and I am a bit burnt out from the constant movement. Even though Bali has been lovely and relaxing, I am so looking forward to sitting on my mum and dad’s couch, and eating a homecooked meal (*cough* Chinese takeaway).
Already knowing that when I’m in Glasgow, I’ll probably be looking forward to the next thing. So I am preparing myself to sit in the moments of years in the waiting home comforts that I have been longing for and do nothing but enjoy it. I am even excited to wear winter clothes – words that never come out of my mouth.
Before I even get that far though, I have the honour of visiting Israel. A place I had never thought I’d be going to. I cannot wait to see the place where my girlfriend grew up, eat the foods she constantly talks about and meet a whole lot of her loved ones. We’ve known each other for nearly three years, and we still haven’t met each other’s families in real life. I can tell them the time in Hebrew though if they happen to ask.
We have the privilege of taking three months off over this time while we visit our homes together, and the countdown is on – one month left of work. In that one month, I am going to soak up every inch of Southeast Asia and enjoy the sun and the time we have just the two of us, before the madness of both our families commences.
This is a personal reminder to myself, and anyone reading this, that sometimes the best moments of your life are happening right now. At some point in the future, you will look back at this time in your life and think “wow, did that really happen? Did I really do that? I’m so lucky, I wish I could go back and relive it”.
Look around, take it in, living is such a dream.
P.S. Nothing is impossible, dare to believe it.